Ease Plumbing Partners with Leaky Black To Create the Ultimate Defensive Duo

Ease Plumbing Partners with Leaky Black To Create the Ultimate Defensive Duo

At Griffin Brothers Companies we do things a little differently than most. 

For example, ZoomUp is a reverse search fund— there’s no business too ugly, too sweaty or too unique, which is simply not the case for most entrepreneurial ventures. Not only that but the Market Leader program that many of our ZoomUp brands are championing is different than anything that’s been done before. 

This outside-of-the-box creative thinking is one thing that sets us apart from the rest. It’s what allows us to create, empower and revolutionize these industries so that we can make a generational impact throughout our communities. 

One way that ZoomUp business Ease Plumbing is thinking outside of the box is through its new NIL deal with Leaky Black, a renowned basketball player at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not only is Leaky known for his stellar defensive skill set, but also for his upstanding work ethic and commitment to quality— a reputation that made him a clear-cut choice as an NIL partner for Ease Plumbing. 

Leaky Black Partners with Ease Plumbing for NIL Deal

Ease will be releasing commercials and photos with Leaky throughout the year leading up to the company’s rebrand in 2023. You can give the Ease Plumbing team a follow on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with how they are dominating leaks with Leaky Black. 

But there’s more to this story than an incredibly creative and on-brand marketing strategy. 

Ease Plumbing and Leaky Black have also teamed up to create a t-shirt that will raise money for sports-focused nonprofit, Dream on 3. “Dream on Three 3 exists to enrich the lives of kids with life-altering conditions by making their sports dreams come true. {Their} programming uses the unifying principles of sports and the power of teamwork to bring hope, love, and joy to {their} dreamers.” Proceeds from the No Leaks in This House t-shirt sales will benefit the Dream on 3 dreamers

No Leaks in This House T-Shirt Benefitting Dream On 3

At the end of the day, Griffin Brothers Companies and our ZoomUp businesses are proud to be outside the norm, to pioneer new perspectives and to have some fun while we’re doing it.

And remember, if you do find a leak in your house, well, no one dominates leaks better than the team at Ease Plumbing. 

Meet The Team: Austin Bryant

Meet The Team: Austin Bryant

You woke up early to the sun rising above the trees and the wind making its appearance in the rustling leaves. It’s a cool summer morning— the perfect day for fly fishing. You quickly make a cup of coffee, grab your supplies, and head out the door to your favorite fishing spot away from the crowds, noise and hustle of everyday life. After a serene drive outside the city, off the gravel drive, and through the woods, it’s just you, the water and the fish (you hope). 

If you’ve never been fly fishing, this idealistic picture may sound intriguing or boring, depending on your preference. But what you may not know about fly fishing is that it’s unique in its technique and not only requires specialized gear but also patience, honed skills and a willingness to learn. 

In some ways, lessons learned through fly fishing can also be applied to the world of entrepreneurship. As both a fly fisherman and an entrepreneur, you must research to find the best spot, you must be patient and wait for the right opportunity, you must be willing to learn unique skills, and ultimately, you must be willing to fail and then cast your line and try again. 

Austin Bryant is Griffin Brothers Companies’ newest entrepreneur apprentice, and you may have guessed it, he enjoys fly fishing in his spare time. He describes fly fishing as a “difficult but rewarding task” and his favorite way to disconnect. 

Entrepreneurship can often be a difficult but rewarding experience in and of itself— something Austin is learning firsthand under the leadership of Mike Griffin and other ZoomUp entrepreneurs. 

As an entrepreneurial apprentice, Austin is able to not only shadow Mike Griffin but also work directly with the ZoomUp entrepreneurs, some of whom were in his position only a few years ago like Austin Helms, owner of Ease Plumbing, Jordan Cupit, owner of Titan Metal Company and Nico Gomez, owner of Level Proof Foundation Solutions. 

Many of Austin’s responsibilities revolve around the Griffin Brothers Acquisitions project at Brookhill Village and managing Skyline Terrace in Charlotte, NC. According to Austin, one of the things he enjoys most about his job is that it’s not a typical 9 to 5 job where you sit at a desk all day. Instead, he is often out in the community, building relationships, learning from successful entrepreneurs and finding ways to overcome obstacles and make an impact. 

Austin shared that “even though it’s a job where [he] can’t give a real description because it’s constantly changing, it’s a learning experience and [he has] already learned, failed, and gone farther than any other job that [he’s] had before.”

60 Years of Griffin Brothers Companies.

60 Years of Griffin Brothers Companies.

Griffin Brothers Companies celebrated its 60th anniversary on February 27, 2021. In 1961, Larry Griffin, Sr. opened the first Griffin Brothers Tire Sales store and since then the company has expanded to land development, ecologically responsible waste management and Charlotte’s one-top-shop for all home and commercial property needs with ZoomUp Investments.

Griffin Brothers Companies has a long history of being a family-owned and operated business. Mike Griffin began working in an administrative role with the company and became the Secretary/Treasurer upon his graduation from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. Shortly after in 1989, Larry Griffin, Jr. joined the team as Vice President of Griffin Bros. Tire Sales, Inc.

Tire and Automotives Drove GBC Upwards
In 1981, Larry, Sr. acquired full ownership of GBTS and when Larry, Jr. joined the team in 1989, the company began to expand. The second tire and communications store was completed in 1991 with the third in 1996, the fourth and fifth stores following in 2000, the sixth in 2002 and the seventh and eighth locations in 2008. GBTS was later sold in 2016.

Landfill Operations Saw Growth
Over the years, the Griffin family entered into the landfill operations beginning in 1988 when Larry, Sr. entered with 37.5% ownership in North Mecklenburg Landfill, Inc. and 50% ownership in Griffin-Parker Enterprises, Inc. Larry, Sr. purchased the remaining portion of NML & G-P in 1993 and began working full-time in the landfill business.

Since 1993, GBC has acquired and started a handful of other landfills including a C&D landfill in Wake County, a Marion County C&D landfill in Mullins, SC and others. As the company continued to see growth, Griffin Bros Acquisitions, LLC was formed in 1996 allowing for the Griffins to build long term property investments and cultivate various joint ventures.

New Development Operations Took Off
In 1997, Larry, Jr. oversaw Griffin Bros Acquisitions’s development projects in the Lake Norman area, including Waterside Crossing- a mixed-use development including a 19 acre retail site anchored by Harris Teeter, a 15 acre office/medical park, 110 townhomes built by Torrey Homes & Parker-Lancaster Homes, and 404 single family homes built by Niblock Development and Parker-Lancaster Homes.

This GBA venture continued to prosper as a 22,000 square foot, two-story, multi-tenant office building was developed in Cornelius under GBA in 1998. Two years later GBA developed a 12,000 square foot building to suit a space for two tenants in Mooresville, NC. In 2002, The Shoppes at Waterside Crossing, LLC was created with GBA assets pertaining to the Shoppes at Waterside. Ten years later, GBA opened a $26 million mixed-use facility adjacent to the Arts Factory. Mosaic Village offers luxury student housing apartments, 7,000 square foot of retail space, 400-space parking deck, and a 250 person Skyline Terrace with extraordinary views of Charlotte’s Center City.

ZoomUp Investments Started Zooming
Griffin Brothers holds a 10% to 15% stake in the Zooomer companies, which have added about 100 employees to the overall enterprise.It’s more than just capital, however. Griffin also offers advice, support and encouragement as Zoomers navigate day-to-day challenges.

“In life you have some road humps and potholes. My goal is to help them get over those humps smoother and work around the potholes,” Mike Griffin says. “Nothing is straight linear — there will always be ups and downs. My goal as a mentor is to help smooth them out and make it less bumpy.”

ZoomUp investments is an incubator set up for dirty jobs – a next step in Mike’s career to lead and develop tradesmen. By partnering with young entrepreneurs who desired majority ownership, he has been able to work with plumbers, HVAC technicians, landscapers, electricians and others to provide home services to the Charlotte area while also mentoring young business leaders and training the next generation of tradesmen.

What’s Next
For 60 years Griffin brothers Companies has been a staple in the Charlotte community. What started with Griffin Bros Tire Sales has developed into a company with many different facets that impacts and serves Charlotte residents in different ways. From providing a place to get around, to creating a place to stay and now to enhancing how you live, GBC has been focused on providing the best services for our clients for 60 years and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Since 1961 the Griffin Brothers Companies has been a family-owned and operated organization that provides the best-in-class services to its customers and communities. For more information on the Griffin Brothers Companies, visit https://griffinbros.com/.

ZoomUp Business, Absolute Collision, Partners with Cleveland County Rescue Mission to Giveaway A Car.

ZoomUp Business, Absolute Collision, Partners with Cleveland County Rescue Mission to Giveaway A Car.

Flashback to your first car, you probably remember the first day you got behind the wheel and took it for a spin. You can still feel the wheel under your palms, the way the car squeaked a little when you hit the brakes too hard and the way it felt when you first turned the key in the mornings. This was likely a highly anticipated day of great pride and excitement for sixteen-year-old you.

However many cars you’ve had between then and now, we can still feel the emotion that cars drive in us. Cars are often sentimental, they hold memories with friends and family, they provide a space for the in-between moments, they hold life and death and they get you where you need to go.

For some, cars are used to travel for work, for others they’re used to pick up and drop off kids in the carpool lane and for others, cars are all about the excitement, the adventure and the possibility of where you can go next.

Yet for others cars are unreachable, an expense one can’t afford and a constant reminder of where you can’t go.

The reality is that cars are a necessity to our daily lives. We rely on our cars as much as we rely on our homes to keep us warm and our food to keep us full. But not everyone has a car they can rely on.

Ask yourself, without a car how would you get to work? How would you take your kids to school? How would you get to the grocery store?

These are questions that thousands of Americans face every day. According to 2018 census figures, 8.7% of households in America do not have access to a vehicle, and ZoomUp business, Absolute Collision, wants to do their part to help.

This year Absolute Collision is partnering with Cleveland County Rescue Mission, Harmon Automotive, Sherwin Williams, Clean Slate Detailing, BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors, Advance Auto Parts, Interior Motives, Forest City Honda, LKQ Corporation and BMB Supply Company to give away a car to a family in need for the Driving For Hope Vehicle Giveaway. In the auto collision field, we see how important cars are for people. We see the devastation when a car is totaled and the desperation as people frantically search for a replacement.

Over the past year, it seems like everything we once relied on has been pulled out from under our feet and left us stranded. In light of this, Absolute Collision wants to do its part to provide a family a car that they can rely on when all else seems lost.

As we come together with Cleveland County Rescue Mission and look out for our neighbor, we want to encourage you to look for ways to do the same in your community. You may not be able to give away a car, most people can’t, but you can do something.

Can you offer to fill someone’s gas tank? Can you pay it forward at the car wash? Can you give an extra tip to the mechanic changing your oil? We hope that you are able to see your neighbor in need and remember that you can help them get back on the road with absolute precision too.

Rock Hill Preserve Site Could Open Path for More.

Rock Hill Preserve Site Could Open Path for More.

In December of 2020, the Nation Ford Land Trust held a ceremony to dedicate 158 acres on Vernsdale Road. The site is now known as the Murray White Preserve. With deep Fort Mill ties, White is founder of the nonprofit land trust and a former York County Council member, including multiple stints as chairman.

The dedication brought together several area civic leaders who’ve put decades of work toward land preservation, like Anne Springs Close, who may be best known in Fort Mill now for her namesake greenway.

“Murray was the catalyst that brought the original board members together to form the Nation Ford Land Trust,” said Bernie Ackerman, land trust chairman.

The new Rock Hill site now named for White could make future land trust preservation easier. Plans are to generate revenue through timber harvesting, a hunt club lease and a 10- to 20-acre compost facility for the City of Rock Hill yard waste program. The land trust will lease the land for composting to Greenway Waste Solutions.

“This way future Nation Ford Land Trust boards will have a consistent income stream and occasionally a large bonus of funds from the timber harvesting operation,” said Steve Hamilton,

land trust executive director. The land trust received the property in late 2018 from Greenway Waste Solutions. The plan was for a conservation easement. The compost site could be operating within 18 months. The Murray White Preserve sits at the almost southwestern tip of city limits in Rock Hill. It spans both sides of Vernsdale, just north of its intersection with Rambo Road.

The Murray White Preserve, which borders Fishing Creek, is one of several recent efforts to preserve land in York County. The land trust was involved in a conservation easement for 1,700 acres as part of the massive Riverbend Park owned by York County. That overall 1,900-acre county site has about six miles of Catawba River frontage.

The land trust preserved 2,700 acres in an easement in the York area with the Stuck family property. Combined with other donations from the family, the total stretches to more than 3,800 acres.

Other major natural area upgrades abound in York County, including waterfront park additions in Rock Hill and Lake Wylie from Duke Energy, Catawba Park in Tega Cay, Ebenezer Park improvements in Rock Hill and a host of new municipal park projects.